The Met Gala is an evening of showstopping glamour held by The Costume Institute and generating millions of dollars every May. The event is heralded by the Queen of Fashion and the most famous Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour. The Met Gala is the biggest fashion event of the year and tickets go for $44,000 AUD per person, and $394,000 AUD for a table — it’s no wonder the rich and famous make the most out of the opportunity to make a bold statement.
But First, The Theme
Guests are requested to style their look to a theme, determined after years of careful consideration and shortlisting. In years past, the theme has been Gilded Glamour, In America, Camp, and Heavenly Bodies, where Rihanna wore her now-viral pope-inspired ensemble. Kept a shockingly well-guarded secret, this years’ theme was selected by The Costume Institute Chief Curator, Andrew Bolton.
This year the theme was KARL, for iconic and controversial fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. Iconic for his incredible designs and time as head of major fashion houses Chanel, Chloe, Fendi, Balmain and Jean Patou, controversial for his tone-deaf statements on the #METOO movement, refugees, and women’s health. Karl’s signature look included his penchant for dramatic black monochrome looks, his shock of platinum white hair and beloved Birman cat, Choupette (French for sweetie, because of course it is).
The internet is bubbling with commentary on the most creative and stunning fashion ensembles for the 2023 Met Gala, including the best fashion tribute to Choupette. We, on the other hand, are going to let the fashion speak for itself, and instead give you the low-down on the bespoke, vintage, and eye-wateringly brilliant jewellery of the 2023 Met Gala.
Dressed in a romantic, gothic Givenchy gown, Gigi Hadid paired a sheer corseted look with the glittering Dream necklace by New York jeweller Smiling Rocks, a jeweller specialising in lab-grown diamonds.
The 74.65CT diamond necklace features 54 lab-grown diamonds, with a 6CT pear cut centre drop diamond set in brilliant white gold, and featuring 1CT round and 1.5CT emerald cut diamonds.
Keeping her jewellery look to theme, her stylists layered the diamond sparkle with loops of pearls by designer Lagos, with pearl bracelets and diamond rings from the Smiling Rocks Dream collection.
The unofficial Queen of the Met Gala, Rihanna arrived well after the red carpet closed, draped in a dramatic white Valentino gown, hidden beneath a striking cloak of white roses. Rihanna removed part of the intense ensemble to reveal an ornate, feminine Bulgari High Jewellery Necklace – a platinum layered creation, featuring five pear cut diamonds, 118 Akoya cultured pearls, 109 round cut diamonds, and 561 fancy cut diamonds, accented with pavé-set diamonds.
A striking piece of jewellery includes the cuff on her wrist – a modern take on the iconic Maltese Cross Cuff that was first designed for Coco Chanel by influential Italian jeweller Fulco di Verdura.
Dressed in a feminine, elegant Fendi creation, Kate Moss swapped dramatic for the demure with jewellery to match. Kate Moss accented her pale silk gown and wispy, detachable sleeves in a gossamer peach with a dazzling diamond Tiffany & Co. necklace in white platinum from the jewellers’ Archives.
Paired with Tiffany Victoria bracelets, Schlumberger Buds engagement ring, morganite and diamond earrings, and an astounding 11CT morganite and diamond ring.
Priyanka made a bold, seductive statement in a black Valentino gown with tufted cape and white accents including white opera gloves and a risqué high split.
Priyanka Chopra Jones has been a Bulgari Global Ambassador since 2022. For the 2023 Met Gala, her monochrome strapless gown was paired with the stunning 11.6CT Bulgari Luna Blue Diamond – a vivid blue fancy cut diamond nestled in a woven diamond chain in white gold.
The breath-taking Laguna diamond is due to go under the auction hammer with celebrated auction house Sothebys later this month, as part of Sotheby’s Luxury Week in Geneva. Interested? It has a starting price of $25 million USD.
Dua Lipa, 2023 Met Gala © Getty Images
Dua Lipa graced the Met Gala red carpet in a vintage Chanel gown designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld, worn by none other than original supermodel Claudia Schiffer in 1992. The dress is evocative of period bridal gown. With a structured corset giving way to a full sweeping skirt, it has a definitively French feel.
Dua Lipa wore a showstopping platinum Tiffany necklace with a glamourous, jaw-dropping 100CT centre drop stone named “Legendary”, cut in the style of the famous Tiffany diamond. Coming in at a total of over 200CT, the diamond was set in the Lucida Star necklace, featuring 76 brilliant stones set in white platinum. Further amping up the bling factor, she wore a 9CT Tiffany Schlumberger Ring.
Dressed in an elegant, billowing white and black gown, Michelle Yeoh exuded opulence and classic chic. The sweeping, voluminous number was paired with Cartier’s [SUR] Naturel High Jewellery Transformable necklace and earrings, in diamonds and set in radiant platinum, with a Étourdissant Cartier High Jewellery Ring.
Lil Nas X
Dressed (or should we say, painted?) head to toe in glittering silvery radiance, we would be remiss not to mention the thousands and thousands of pearls and crystals that make up Lil Nas X’s Met Gala look. Designed by legendary make-up artists Pat McGrath, the singer’s body was adorned with pearls, diamantes, silver, and Swarovski crystals, including an elaborate feline facemask made of antique lace, cultured pearls, and glittering rhinestones.
The statement style required 5,000 stones, a whooping 218,784 flat-back Swarovski crystals, and took more than 9 painstaking hours to bring together.